The Marathon Training Guide to Life by Temeko Richardson

The Run

How you handle challenges determines how far you will go? How you treat others during your difficult times shapes the demise of friendships and partnerships? Whatever the challenge — relationship, family, work, financial, or health – take a step back and find a pastime to help cope with the stresses.

It is easy to walk away from people when your life is awry but it negatively affects those that really love you. It is easy to volunteer money in lieu of time to charitable organizations but it is more difficult to give up your time to work with difficult people. It is not a problem to change jobs when bad decisions affect the work environment but it is more difficult to remain and endure. When the easy thing to do is walk away but you know it is not right, you must lean on a vice to help you handle the pressures.

In my life I have encountered difficulties caused both by me and others. I changed my behaviors without changing me but other people are beyond my control. For the disappointments and challenges caused by others, I chose to RUN. No not RUN away. RUN and see the end. Not a couple of miles or a half marathon but the whole shebang – 26.2 miles. This is my new vice since May 2009 to mentally gauge and refocus on the challenges that were put before me. Sometimes it is two marathons a month (either I am on edge or focused), but I stay the course.

And right when I think it is about my stress and my goals, I always meet someone with a more enlightening story “cancer-free after a year of not being able to walk to run a first marathon”, “unemployed for months, decided to run to release the stress of bills and not finding employment, and just wanted to run one marathon to feel a sense of achievement”, “trained for months and became ill right before the run”. I only compete against me to make me better. Slowing down to run or even walk with these individuals made the San Francisco, Surf City, and Los Angeles marathons special. Now I make sure at least three marathons a year I run are about giving back to a person or a charity because I am thankful to be a part of someone else’s second chance.


Keep your eye on the prize.